More than 900 people applied for a single job at a new doughnut factory, say management – a stark reminder of the current state of the UK jobs market.
Management at Derby-based luxury doughnut maker Project D said that within a week of advertising the bakery assistant post they were deluged with applications.
They said a further 711 candidates applied for a baker’s job.
Company co-director Max Poynton said: “We are being overwhelmed with applications every time we advertise, and it is noticeable that the numbers increase with each vacancy.
“We’re also getting plenty of applications from highly skilled catering professionals – with excellent experience. It’s clear that this profession has been hit hard by lockdown and we assume that when the furlough scheme ends later in the year this situation will worsen.
“Of course, it’s great for Project D as we have been able to recruit some sensational new bakers, but it’s sad to receive so many CVs from people who have been laid off, seen their own business close or from graduates struggling to find a job.”
The UK’s unemployment rate soared during 2020 as some of the country’s biggest businesses laid off hundreds of thousands of staff. Some of the biggest casualties were in the retail, hospitality and travel sectors.
The Office for National Statistics recently said the number of employees on payrolls had fallen by 819,000, most of which were at the beginning of the pandemic.
PA reported that June was the worst month, with nearly 75,000 redundancies or possible job losses announced.
It is widely expected that the 2021 lockdown – compounded by Brexit “teething” problems – will make things worse.
Many home delivery food services have prospered though.
Project D, which produces handmade artisan doughnuts, moved into a new bakery in Spondon last month, which is 11 times bigger than its previous home.
The expansion will allow the company to operate 24 hours a day, extending its home delivery routes nationwide, creating 100 new members of staff over the coming months.
Since May the company said it had recruited 26 new members of staff, taking the workforce to 54, but the directors said they have seen rising numbers of applicants every time a position is created.
Bucking the national retail trend, Project D has plans to open a store in Leeds during 2021, as well as units in Manchester and London.
It currently delivers to doorsteps as far away as Leeds and Birmingham, and during the next six months the routes will widen across the rest of the UK.
Mr Poynton said: “It is almost impossible to reply to every applicant at the moment, because we have simply received so many.
“But obviously we will keep all the suitable CVs on file for future positions.
“We still struggle to keep up with demand for our doughnuts, so we intend to keep recruiting throughout the course of 2021.”